Bible Reading Made Easy

Why do people always use the Bible to define God? Why is it wrong to define God within the Bible?

The answer from God’s word:

The Bible has been accompanying man for several thousand years of history, and people all treat it as God, and in the last days people even replace God’s place with the Bible, which is a thing greatly loathed by God. So, in His leisure time, God has to make clear both the inside truth and the origin of the Bible. If not, in man’s heart the Bible can still take the place of God, and people will still condemn and measure God’s doings with the letters of the Bible. By explaining the substance and structure of the Bible and the flaws in it, God is not denying the existence of the Bible or condemning the Bible, but giving a proper and appropriate statement about it and showing what the Bible really is, correcting people’s erroneous knowledge about the Bible, so that they all can have an accurate view about the Bible, no longer worship the Bible, and no longer lose the direction—considering blindly believing in the Bible as believing in God and worshiping God, and even daring not to face the true background of the Bible and the flaws in it. After people all have a pure knowledge of the Bible, they will cast it off without any misgiving and accept God’s new word boldly. … Here, the truth God wants to tell man is that no theory or fact can replace God’s practical work and word, and no thing can take the place of God. If one cannot break away from the trapping of the Bible, then he can never possibly come before God. If one wants to come before God, he needs to first sweep away all the things in his heart that can replace God. Thus God will be satisfied. Although here God only gives explanations about the Bible, you should not forget that apart from the Bible, there are many other erroneous things that man truly worships, and that the only things that man does not worship are those truly from God. God just takes the Bible as an example to remind everyone: Do not take the wrong way, and do not go to extremes and fall into confusion again while you believe in God and receive God’s word.

from “A Brief Introduction” to the Third Part of The Word Appears in the Flesh

For centuries, conventional religious belief (belief of Christianity among the world’s three major religions) has emphasized reading the Bible. Departing from the Bible amounts to not believing in the Lord; to do so is cult, heresy. Any other book that one reads must be one that explicates the Bible. That is to say, if you claim to believe in the Lord, you must read the Bible, must eat and drink it, and not venerate any other books that do not pertain to it; otherwise, you are betraying God. For as long as the Bible has existed, belief in the Lord has been synonymous with belief in the Bible. Rather than believing in the Lord, people believe in the Bible. Rather than starting to read the Bible, people have started to believe in the Bible. Instead of returning to the Lord, people have returned to the Bible. And so people have come to worship the Bible as if it were God, to see it as their own lifeblood; without it, they seem to have no life. People put the Bible on an equal footing with God—or even higher. They can live without the work of the Holy Spirit, without a sense of God’s presence; but if they were to lose the Bible, be deprived of its well-known passages and phrases, it would be tantamount to losing their life. So as soon as people believe in the Lord, they begin to read and memorize the Bible. The more of the Bible one has committed to memory, the more it proves that one loves the Lord and has great faith; those brothers and sisters who have read the Bible and can preach to others are seen as the best ones. For centuries people have judged the depth of others’ faith and their loyalty to the Lord by how well they understand the Bible. The majority of people do not in the least grasp why, or how, they should believe in God, so focused are they on collecting clues that will allow them to decipher Bible verses. They do not seek the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work; instead, they keep poring painstakingly over the Bible and researching the Bible. As yet, no one has found outside the Bible the new work of the Holy Spirit. No one can depart from the Bible; nobody dares. People have studied the Bible for years upon years, making many explanations, expending vast amounts of effort, arguing endlessly over their differences of opinion, and these many disagreements have given rise to the two-thousand-odd sects in existence today. Everyone plumbs the Bible for extraordinary interpretations or deeper mysteries, and everyone probes the Bible trying to uncover the backgrounds of Jehovah’s work in Israel or of Jesus’ work in Judea, or many other mysteries unknown to others. People’s attitude toward the Bible is one of obsession and ‘faith’; no one is completely clear on its true story and substance. And so the atmosphere of unspeakable mysticism surrounding the Bible has persisted until this day, and people’s obsession and ‘faith’ grow ever more fervent. Now people look to the Bible for predictions of the work of the last days, wanting to discover what work God will perform in the last days and what signs of the last days will be. And so people’s veneration of the Bible grows ever more intense, and as the last days draw nearer, people give more credence to the biblical predictions, particularly those concerning the last days. Because they put so much blind faith and trust in the Bible, people have no heart to seek out the work of the Holy Spirit. People have the notion that only the Bible can bring forth the work of the Holy Spirit, that only in the Bible can one find the footprints of God, that only the Bible hides the mysteries of God’s work. They believe that only the Bible can lay bare everything of God and the entirety of His work, and that no other books, no other men, can do so. They think that the Bible can bring the work of heaven onto earth, can begin and end eras. Having settled upon these notions, people have no interest in seeking out the work of the Holy Spirit. And so, though the Bible was of great help to people in the past, for God’s latest work it has become an obstacle.

from “Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The Bible is a history book. If during the Age of Grace you were to eat and drink the Old Testament, practicing the requirements of the Old Testament age, then Jesus would forsake you, condemn you. If you had tried to impose the Old Testament on Jesus’ work, you would have been called a Pharisee. And so today, if you eat and drink and practice the Old and New Testaments, then the God of today will condemn you; you cannot keep pace with the work of the Holy Spirit today. If you eat the Old and New Testaments, then you are one outside the stream of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ day, He led the Jews and all those who followed Him according to the work of the Holy Spirit in Him. He did not look to the Bible for evidence, but spoke as His work dictated. He did not concern Himself with what the Bible said, did not lead His followers down a path found in the Bible. From the very beginning, He preached the way of repentance, and the word ‘repentance’ was not mentioned at all in all the prophecies in the Old Testament. Not only did He not follow the Bible, He brought forth a new path and did a new work. He did not make reference to the Bible when He preached, and the miracles He worked—healing the sick, casting out demons—had never been performed by men during the Age of Law. No one in the Age of Law did the work He did, taught those lessons, had that authority. He simply did His new work, though many people condemned Him, even crucified Him, by using the Bible. His work went beyond the Old Testament; if that had not been the case, why would they have nailed Him to the cross? Was it not because His teachings, His power to cure the sick and cast out demons, had never been recorded in the Old Testament? The work of Jesus was to bring forth a new path; He did not deliberately set out to ‘wage war’ against the Bible or abolish the Old Testament, but simply performed His ministry, bringing the new work to those who thirsted for Him and sought Him out. He was not trying to explain the Old Testament or defend its work. Carrying on the Age of Law was not His goal, for He did not care in the least whether His work was grounded in the Bible, but simply did the job that He needed to do. So He did not attempt to explain the Old Testament prophecies, did not base His work on words spoken in the Old Testament Age of Law. He did not concern Himself with what the Old Testament said, whether it accorded with His own work, did not care how other people saw His work or condemned His work. He simply kept on doing the job He needed to do, though many people condemned Him, invoking the words of the Old Testament prophets. In people’s eyes His work was not based on a shred of evidence, and in many ways it ran counter to what was recorded in the Bible. Were they not grossly in the wrong? Must God’s work obey any rules? Does He need to follow the words of prophets? Which is greater, the Bible or God? Why must God’s work be in line with the Bible? Is it really not within His right to stand above the Bible? Can He not depart from it and do other work? Why did Jesus and His disciples not observe the Sabbath? If He were to observe the Sabbath, to practice the commandments of the Old Testament, then why, after His coming, did He not observe the Sabbath, but washed others’ feet and covered His head, broke bread and drank wine? Were these commandments mentioned in the Old Testament? If Jesus were to adhere to the Old Testament, why did He break these rules? You must know which came first, God, or the Bible? As He is the Lord of the Sabbath, can’t He also be the Lord of the Bible?

from “Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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